Superman faces Mr Fantastic in the 2019 PSA World Championship quarter finals!

Photo credit http://worldsquashchamps.com

Paul Coll Vs Ali Farag match overview

It’s highly likely that any squash fanatic will be binge-watching the 2019 PSA World Championships going on right now in Chicago. However, for those of you who don’t know, the world championship is the most prestigious competition in the squash world. Attended only by the worlds top professional squash players, there have already been several unbelievable matches, which I highly advise you go and watch (if you haven’t already)!

One particular match that piqued my interest, was the quarter-final match of Paul Coll against Ali Farag. Both players are renowned for being some of the best movers in the game, however, the interesting part is that their movement styles are polar opposites of each other.

Paul Coll

Starting with 7 seed, Paul ‘Superman’ Coll, this nickname was rightly appointed, as he is famously known for being able to retrieve very tough balls using high-powered dives. The most well-known example of this being in a rally with James Willstrop, in which he manages to dive, retrieve, and recover from a series of incredible shots and still win the point! Coll’s movement revolves around extreme strength, endurance and power, if you’re looking to finish off a rally with a kill shot, you may struggle against Paul Coll.

Ali Farag

Known in the squash world as Mr Fantastic, Ali Farag is actually now world number one (as of March 1st), so congratulations are in order!
Farag’s movement style is very different to Coll’s, many people say he has the most efficient movement in squash at the moment. Fantastic Farag is very light on his feet, moves very fast and with a ‘water-like’ flow, it’s clear that movement is something that he’s spent a lot of time on and it’s incredibly pleasing to watch!

The Match

The first game…

Taken 11-8 by Farag, was played very steadily from both men, and there wasn’t much being taken to the front. The main difference from my perspective was that Farag seemed just that little bit calmer than Coll, although it’s clear that nerves were in the air for both players! Of course, to keep the crowd happy, the first game featured some trademark dives from Coll.

Taken 11-8 by Farag, was played very steadily from both men, and there wasn’t much being taken to the front. The main difference from my perspective was that Farag seemed just that little bit calmer than Coll, although it’s clear that nerves were in the air for both players! Of course, to keep the crowd happy, the first game featured some trademark dives from Coll.

It was the second game in which things began to liven up…

Coll took a quick 5-1 lead by being a lot more proactive and taking shots into the front with purpose, he also did an amazing job of mixing up the pace, switching from a series of high, deep lobs, to some low, hard lengths.

Farag seemed a little subdued at the beginning of this game, however, it was almost like he flipped a switch in his head at this point, and began forcing the mistakes from Coll. The rallies became very short and sharp, especially compared to the first, apart from one absolute monster rally lasting 2 minutes and 16 seconds! This rally was won by Farag and was maybe what tipped Coll over the edge…

Farag established a more dominant position on the ‘T’, and didn’t allow Coll to get into any sort of rhythm for the rest of the game. Farag managed to take the second game 11-7.

​Again starting very strong, Superman took an early 6-2 lead in the third game…

he managed to keep Farag pinned at the back of the court, and this time, he didn’t allow him to get back into the game. Taking a very dominant tee stance, stepping forwards whenever possible with strong strides, Coll managed to take this game 11-4. Farag seemed to be out of breath in this third game, he slowed down his fluid movement to conserve some energy, something that Coll took full advantage of by significantly stepping up the pace.

In the fourth and final game, Fantastic Farag came back very strong …

Managing to predict the majority of Paul Coll’s selected shots, and moving onto them incredibly fast, even Coll’s incredibly powerful lunges and dives weren’t enough to recover Farag’s super accurate shots. Farag confidently won this game 11-1, and thus the match.

It’s worth noting that throughout this game, Paul ‘Superman’ Coll’s ​fitness, power, and strength were unbelievable, and he endured the long rallies incredibly well. But in the end, Fantastic Farag’s conservative, light movement enabled him to take the ball earlier and apply that little bit of extra pressure that won him the match, and allowed him to advance to the semi-finals.

Well played guys!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Captcha to check if you are human *